Home Safety for Elderly Loved Ones

Cenetta Lee

If a doctor tells you that your ailing relative is ready to go home from the hospital but needs constant care at home or determines that your loved one has an ailment requiring “24/7″ care, you, the primary caregiver, may need to address a few home-safety issues. Consider taking these safety precautions during or after completing your de-cluttering project:

Minimum cost

•    Remove throw rugs to prevent falls.
•    Put adhesive strips in bottom of tub and shower.

Medium cost

•    Install easy-to-reach light switches.
•    Install light fixtures for adequate illumination of living areas.

Higher cost

•    Install grab-rails in bathroom near toilet, tub and shower.
•    Install or rent a ramp for wheelchair access.
•    Replace step-in tub with a walk-in shower.

For sources on how to conduct a home-safety assessment, contact agencies that provide services for the elderly or your relative’s doctor. Or click the links below:

Medical Alert Reviews

A Housing Safety Checklist for Older People

You can also find home safety checklists in these books:

Breininger, Dorothy. Benson, Lynn. Bittick, Debby. The Senior Organizer: Personal, Medical, Legal and Financial. 2006.

Powell, Don. Healthier at Home: The Proven Guide to Self Care and Being a Wise Health Consumer. 2005.